Digs Realty Co-op Board Interview Prep
Generally, if you have made it to the co-op board interview prep stage, the board thinks you are a good candidate and wants to welcome you to the building. Digs Realty has never had a client rejected after meeting the co-op board for an interview. We wrote an article last month about co-op board rejections, but these typically happen before the co-op board meets with you.
The co-op board interview is the Board’s opportunity to meet you and ask specific questions about your application. The style of the interview can range from an informal gathering of board members in an apartment (most common) to a formal interview with board members lined up at a table with you in the hot seat (rare).
Here are a few tips to keep in mind while preparing for your interview:
1. Dress well and be prompt.
In terms of dress and promptness, a board interview should be treated no differently than a professional job interview.
2. Prepare for a lack of privacy in your board interview.
The Board has great latitude in the kinds of questions it can ask, so be prepared. Do not avoid answering personal questions and do not become angered by them.
3. Know your application.
You should be able to quickly and concisely answer any questions asked about your application, preferably without having to look at it. If necessary, bring a copy along. Read the House Rules thoroughly beforehand.
4. Couples should decide in advance who will answer certain types of questions.
For example, you may agree to answer all financial questions while your spouse will answer all other questions. Avoid discussing your answers with your spouse in front of the Board.
5. Do not try to sell yourself in the co-op board interview.
Answer the questions you are asked, and let the Board run the show. Boards will not turn down applicants for being too boring.
6. Never volunteer information.
Do not engage in unsolicited conversations except for basic cordial remarks and greetings.
7. Do not ask questions.
Questions can often unintentionally convey negative information to the Board. For example: “Do you have any plans to renovate the lobby?” is the kind of seemingly innocent question which may offend the board member who was in charge of the “recent” lobby renovation. If you have any additional questions, direct them to your real estate agent or your attorney.
8. Minimize discussion of renovations to your unit during your board interview.
Most boards will cooperate with a shareholder but may be reluctant to approve a prospective purchaser if they think their renovations will be too disruptive (especially if one of the board members has an adjacent apartment) or too costly and might deplete their liquid assets.
9. Do not discuss politics or other controversial issues.
Many Board interviews take the form of informal meet-and-greets where you can sit down with your new neighbors in a relaxed setting, but don’t take the opportunity to discuss any potentially controversial topics. Keep it plain and boring.
10. A short interview is better than a long one.
While there are no hard and fast rules, a short, cordial interview with few board questions and remarks is often the best co-op board interview.
11. Do not expect an answer at the end of the co-op board interview.
Most boards do not give their decision until a day or two after the meeting. Your real estate agent and attorney will take the necessary steps to determine if you have been approved.
Digs Realty Group is a residential real estate brokerage operating in NYC. We give discounts to our sell-side clients and rebates to our buy-side clients. Please reach out if you are interested in learning more: firstname.lastname@example.org; (917) 675-0037; www.digsrealtynyc.com